Andy Shauf's The Neon Skyline album is out January 24th. At some stage "Living Room" crept into my life and has been lying in the corner, randomly popping up on repeat. The song's lyrics read similar to an old Lupe Fiasco song that recently reemerged in my life. I guess 2006 is old school, because the music video for that song, "He Say She Say," which I revisited, feels retro as hell.
With both songs there's a shift in storyteller perspective; a change-up I found quite memorable in 2006, and now again in 2020. My mind bridged a fourteen year gap between these two sets of lyrical prose, which makes Shauf's album a highly enticing prospect.
Each track on The Neon Skyline takes place in a bar on a "normal night," and Shauf ended up with almost 50 songs all about that same evening. Give the song's lyrics a glance over, it reads like a segment from a short story:
Claire stands beside us, she is ordering a drink, she says hello to us.
Charlie says hi and asks about her boy, she says he’s ﬁne and there’s a pause.
She says, “It’s funny that you ask, today I had a strange experience. I remembered once when I was a girl my father came home late from work. I'd drawn a picture for him in school that day and I wanted to show him.
He said, ‘Go show it to your mother dear.’ But I’d drawn it just for him - just for him. Anyways, today my son came home from school and he had drawn a picture. But I was so tired from work, I told him I would have a look in a little while. I should have hung it on the fridge for him. I mean how hard is it to give a shit?”
Claire walked away and Charlie looked at me with wide eyes, like we had accidentally walked into some stranger's living room.